The North and South Korean women’s basketball teams parted ways at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games smiling with silver medals around their necks. At the Hangzhou Asian Games, North Korean athletes reunited after five years as enemies, but they didn’t shake hands or even answer when South Korean players called out to them.
North Korean women’s basketball player Noe Su-young smiles and says goodbye to the inter-Korean unified team after the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. Kookmin Ilbo DB
North Korean players Noe Suk-yong and Kim Hye-yeon, who played for the inter-Korean unified team, appeared at their group game against South Korea at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on Monday. North Korea’s head coach, Jeong Sung Shim, also participated in the unified team five years ago as a “North Korean coach.
North Korean women’s basketball coaches Jang Sung-sim and Jang Mi-kyong smile and say goodbye to the North Korean single team after the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. Kookmin Ilbo DB
Kang Isul, a member of the North-South Korean unified team, hugs and says goodbye to North Korean athletes after the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. Kookmin Ilbo DB
Chung and Noh Suk-young waved to the media with bright faces as they left the athletes’ village in Jakarta. “Sook-young, you have to say goodbye,” the South Korean players shouted as they boarded the bus. The North and South Korean athletes hugged and said goodbye to each other. Jung and Noh waved out the window even after they had finished and boarded the bus.
South Korean women’s basketball team member Kang Isul (R) laughs with North Korea’s Kim Hye-yeon after she fell during a scuffle during an open training session at the Jincheon Athletic Center ahead of the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. Photographer
The unified team trained together at the Jincheon Athletes’ Village ahead of the 2018 Asian Games. When South Korea’s Kang Isul and North Korea’s Kim Hye-yeon fell after a scuffle during an open training session, they looked at each other and laughed. But now, they are no longer on speaking terms.
“I was upset that the North Korean players avoided eye contact and didn’t shake hands or high-five me,” Kang said after the 29th inter-Korean competition. “When I was walking down the street, I bumped into some of the North Korean players I played with five years ago and called out to them, but they didn’t answer. I thought it was difficult to approach them and say hello.” North Korean athletes deliberately avoided South Korean players on and off the court.
North Korea’s women’s basketball head coach Kim Sung-sim (R) and North Korean player Kang Hyang-mi hold a press conference after their group stage match against South Korea at the Hangzhou Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Hangzhou=Park Guin Reporter
North Korean supporters booed the South Korean players as they shot free throws, waving artificial flags. The North Korean players only said hello to the South Korean coaching staff before leaving the court. They avoided eye contact with the South Korean players during the game and did not greet them. Noh Suk-young and Kim Hye-yeon quickly walked through the mix zone (joint press area) after the game with their eyes fixed on the floor.
스포츠토토North Korea’s head coach Kim Sung-sim shook hands with South Korean coach Chung Sun-min after the game and appeared at the press conference, but gave only brief answers. When asked about the “single team” question, the North Korean official present at the press conference said, “I’ll speak for myself. I don’t think it has anything to do with this match,” interrupting the North Korean coach’s answer. Seemingly aware of this, the North Korean coach remained aloof throughout the press conference, with a stern expression on her face.